Nicolas Talon. L'Histoire Sainte. Imprimerie Royale, pr. 1669.


In the mid-seventeenth century Louis XIII and his prime minister, Cardinal Richelieu, shared a strong personal interest in typography and printing. Louis had actually set type and Richelieu had himself produced several small books on a private press in his chateaux. Having rebuilt the Sorbonne and founded the Academie Francaise, Richelieu persuaded Louis to establish a royal printing-office at the Louvre. Called the Imprimerie Royale, or Typographia Regia, the office was directed by the expert printer Sebastien Cramoisy. From its first edition in 1640, it became the premier printing office in seventeenth century Europe to sustain the tradition of fine bookmaking. [APB] It produced the Belmont Abbey copy of Sidonius (1653) in this exhibit, bearing both Cramoisy's name and his elegant printer's mark. Cramoisy was eventually succeeded by his grandson, Sebastien Mabre-Cramoisy, whose name is found on this book by Nicolas Talon, under an elaborated printer's mark.

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